What Role Does Social Class and Class Ambiguity Play in Wuthering Heights?

877 Words Mar 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
What role does social class and class ambiguity play in Wuthering Heights?

The social class and class ambiguity in Emily Bronte's novel Wuthering Heights is a key aspect when following the plot. When Heathcliff is first introduced Hindley, Hindley shows characteristics of dominants and superiorness. Bronte shows that Thrushcross Grange is a far superior manor to the farmhouse at Wuthering Heights by Catherine's reasoning for marring Edgar. This outlines the difference in social class between the two manors. The differences between the house occupants and the servants show the differences in social class and class ambiguity. Without the different roles of social class and class ambiguity the tail of Wuthering Heights would not be one
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Heathcliff is a key example of how Wuthering Heights doesn't comply with the norm the era. Back in the 1800 it was the believe that what social class someone was born into was the class they were to stay in. Heathcliff begins life in the lowest class but when he is taken in to Wuthering Heights he moves up the hierarchy. Despite Hindley forcing him to work as a slave he still has an ambition to continue up the hierarchy. Heathcliff defies the norm and becomes very high up the social hierarchy.

Heathcliff is forced to work in fields for his now master Hindley. He becomes a servant and not a family member. Nelly is another servant who acts to shows the difference between the social classes in Wuthering Heights. She has responsibilities that resemble a mother but yet has to work for her place in the manor. The occupants of the house treat the servants in an interesting way. Hindley doesn't believe servants should be educated and therefore doesn't let them read. This shows the difference in the social class in just one house.

When Catherine gets back from spending time at Thrushcross Grange the others she a big change in her “..instead of a wild, hatless little savage jumping into the house, and rushing to squeeze us all breathless, there 'lighted from a handsome black pony a very dignified person, with brown ringlets falling from the cover of a feathered beaver, and a long cloth habit, which she was obliged to hold up with both hands